HOW TO REDUCE DOWNTIME AND INCREASE PRODUCTIVITY
By Larry Bush
Documentation mined for maintenance information "gold".
All maintenance activities of the workforce must be documented, this includes
breakdown repairs, callouts, preventive maintenance, replacement maintenance,
overhauls, and Testing & Inspection work. Maintenance work by production
employees must be included, whether or not the employee is listed as in
maintenance. These activities can then be mined for maintenance information
One of the first things that a maintenance supervisor should be concerned
with is repetitive work. Any and all repetitive work should be identified and
isolated. This list can then be prioritized as to criticality to Production and
As soon as a high priority problem has been identified and analyzed, work
should begin on development of a solution to the problem. Once the solution to
the problem has been developed, plans can be made for purchasing required parts
and material and then scheduling the manpower and production time to implement
Planning essential repairs and modifications requires documentation. It is
easy to say that we need a modification to this particular machine and output of
this line can be increased 25%. However, with no planning, six months later no
work has been done on the idea. Even if the idea were actually to be somehow
implemented, the output increase may not come to fruition.
With documentation, the list of priority work problems to solve can be
reduced fairly rapidly, at first. The list of easily solved problem areas will
gradually be replaced by higher cost work items. Research and planning may
reveal that the costs involved with eliminating some repetitive repairs are more
than living with the repetitive repairs.
After implementation of the solution, production downtime for that particular item can be documented and compared to pre-implementation production output. Maintenance time not spent on working on that solved problem can also be documented for the same time period. These savings can then be extrapolated for an entire year and presented to management to justify the cost of repairs.
Without documentation, research, and planning, the person in charge of making
the decisions is working in the dark. With documentation, research, and
planning, the great wall of China can be built, or the Panama Canal, or the
Aswan Dam, or a world-class maintenance organization.
About the Author: Larry Bush has been an electrician for 47 years, and in maintenance management for 22 years. Download his new e-Book "Maintenance Policy and Procedures Manual" !!
Another method of process improvement is the Taguchi technique, Design of Experiment (DOE)
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